Chilly Daybreak before Departure
ISBN: 9789646233034
First print: 2000
Last print: 2006
Main language: Persian
Page count: 112
Publisher: Khojasteh Publications
Translation rights sold:
Chilly Daybreak before Departure

Chilly Daybreak before Departure is a 112-page novel by Nahid Tabatabei published by Khojasteh Publications. The author’s fluid style of writing together with the ambience of her stories, which are based on realities in urban communities, paints a vivid, dramatic image of people, women in particular. That is why filmmakers are particularly interested in adaptations of her novels.
Sheyda, the main character of the story, is a warmhearted girl who is thrown in jail for possession of illicit drugs. The novel, which has an omniscient narrator, focuses on the character, mentality and behavior of female inmates and the fate that befalls them. 
Nahid Tabatabei has spent hours and hours in correctional facilities to observe and learn about the relationships among inmates, the colloquial terms they use, the crimes they have committed, and of course their character, mentality and behavior. That personal observation makes this book very special in portraying women’s prisons and female prisoners.
“The key turned in the lock and in the lock of the handcuffs. The smell of rotten tomatoes and stale cheese, the shriek of laughter and whispers, and subdued and opaque colors charged toward Sheyda. Down the long hallway, some women were sitting with their legs fully extended, some were in a crouching position and some were sitting cross-legged, all staring at her. Some gazes were curious, and some were familiar. Sheyda was not in the mood. She said hello in their direction and bowed her head as she headed straight for the cell she was assigned to. She placed her bag on the top bunk and scaled the ladder and lay on bed in hope of drifting into sleep with the slow and monotonous sound of train serving as lullaby.”   

Long Introduction